THE WHISTLER publication has reported a palpable unease among officers of the Nigeria Police Force over the alleged refusal of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali-Baba to release the compiled funds for the payment of over N79,870,000 earmarked for officers for election monitoring and evaluation among other duties.
Nearly three weeks after the election, many of the officers were yet to be paid any allowance while those who were paid alleged that they were not fully paid.
At least 670 officers deployed to the 28 states where the governorship and houses of assembly elections were held also had the onus of monitoring the social media space as regards political and security situations and ensuring compliance of policemen to the electoral guidelines.
The officers, drawn across various units of the police force in Abuja, were entitled to Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) and per diem (daily allowance), based on their grade level in the civil services.
According to THE WHISTLER, the approval for the DTA was contained in a circular with number: SWC/C/O4/S.6/II/333, and was signed by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and dated August 31, 2022.
Officers within the ranks of Inspectors and Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSP) were entitled to N17,500 per diem; those between the ranks of Superintendents of Police (SP) and Chief Superintendents of Police (CSP) were entitled to N20,000 per diem.
Also, Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACP) and Commissioners of Police (CPs) were entitled to N25,000 per diem while senior officers within the ranks of Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) and the Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs) were entitled to N37,500 per diem.
Others including Police corporals and Sergeants fall under the 10,000 and N15,000 per diem category.
The officers who travelled from Abuja on March 15 ahead of the March 18 elections, did so, based on assurances from the police that the funds will be paid before/upon arrival at their states of duty.
Unfortunately, the various situations surrounding the elections caused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone elections in some states, thereby extending the number of days officers spent.
The IGP also asked that they stayed back pending the end of the electoral process in their state of duty.
Most of the officers had stayed for at least seven days before returning to Abuja without receiving a penny. Officers especially the Inspectors and the rank and file who form a major part of the deployment had expected to receive their allowances multiplied by the days they had stayed behind.
Two weeks after the election, some of the officers were paid less than the amount approved for them by the Federal Government. The credit alert was sent via a private individual without a description.
Officers who spoke off-the-record, according to THE WHISTLER, were angry that the IGP has denied them their entitlements.
“To think I paid for my transportation to and from that volatile state (withheld) with N30,000 from my pocket, only to get N15,000. It is not even up to a day’s money.
“Many of us had to look for friends to stay with during the nine days we stayed. We paid for every expense. The excuse of the CP Election is that IGP did not give him any money, so he is paying N15,000 as DTA.
How is that supposed to be our allowance? My money is supposed to be 17,500 per day for the number of days we spent (period withheld). The fact that we risked our life just to receive what,” an officer lamented.
While some of the officers had received the meagre sum, others are yet to get alert. Those badly affected by the non-release of funds by the IGP are officers in states where supplementary elections are to hold later in April.
The officers were asked to remain at the behest of the IGP but their allowances were yet to be paid—which means they would have to sort themselves out.
THE WHISTLER also reported that a wireless memo obtained by them with number: 1800/FDPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.2/41 and dated March 14, 2023, broke down the number of the officers deployed to include: 34 ACPs; 92 ASPs; 2 AIGs; 7 CPL; 41 CSPs; 31 DCPs; 272 Inspectors; 1 CP; 68 SGTs; 12 PCs; 74 SPs and 36 DSPs.
The document also showed that the names of 12 officers were duplicated across the different states, 11 of which had appeared twice and one, thrice, indicating that the process may have been corrupted.
Recall that the Police authorities had boasted that they have paid allowances for policemen deployed for election monitoring and security management.
The police spokesperson, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, when contacted said, “The IGP has directed the AIG Budget to collate the names of affected personnel and ensure everyone is paid.
“So, the affected ones are to report such to their respective command, for collation of their names and onward relay to police account office for necessary action”.